Senior Travel Expert Photo Editor, John Esser, reports on a heritage site close to home.
Despite living in the area for nearly 30 years, I have only now got round to discovering Doddington Hall & Gardens, courtesy of a birthday treat from my wife – and what a discovery it proved to be.
Doddington Hall was built in 1600, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and is a very fine example of a brick Tudor mansion.
It is situated close to Lincoln and should feature high on the list of places to see by senior travellers visiting the city, particularly those attending the Magna Carta celebrations.
The exterior of the house has changed little during its history, but the interior underwent extensive renovations during the Georgian period. The house, which is privately owned, has been continuously occupied since it was built and contains artefacts and family mementos reflecting family life over the past 500 years. The guided tour was both entertaining and informative.
The surrounding six acres of gardens are divided into formal and informal areas both of which have good access to mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
The large, walled kitchen garden containing vegetable, fruits, salads and herbs provides produce for the restaurant, café and farm shop. In the formal garden the intricate, precisely clipped parterre provides a framework for colourful floral displays – at the time of our visit the irises were in full bloom.
The informal gardens offer leafy glades and gentle walks through the rhododendron bushes, which are best seen early June. The Avenue Walk to the Pyramid and informative Nature Trail are well worth following. The two sweet chestnut trees close to the croquet lawn and maze are believed to go back to the time of the Spanish Armada.
We had an enjoyable, light lunch at the Farm Restaurant, which serves home grown food at very reasonable prices. Home grown and local produce can also be bought at the well-stocked Farm Shop; their orange-flavoured chocolate cake is scrumptious!
We would have liked to have spent more time exploring the house and gardens, but grand-parenting duties prevailed; nevertheless we were both so taken with Doddington Hall that we shall definitely be returning in the near future.
The house is open from Easter to the end of September on Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. Admission to the house and gardens is £9.50 for adults, £4.75 for children, £15.00 for a family ticket, and includes a guided tour of the house.
Members of Historic Houses can visit Doddington Hall free of charge. Check out our special £5 discount on annual and gift membership of Historic Houses.
For more information and details of upcoming events see the Doddington Hall website.
Posted 17th July 2015 by John Esser, featuring his photographs.